Jul 18 AT 8:14 AM Anthony Domanico 32 Comments

AT&T adding shared data plans next month


A few months after Verizon launched its Share Everything plans, AT&T has announced that it too will offer shared data plans starting in August. Like Verizon, AT&T’s plan offers unlimited talk and text, as well as support for up to 10 devices per account. The same basic structure underlies the AT&T and Verizon plans, but Ma Bell’s implementation of the plans is where it distinguishes itself from its largest competitor.

If you recall, Verizon charges anywhere from $50 to $100 per month for 1 – 10GB of data, and each type of device you add to the plan (smartphones, tablets, feature phones, and data sticks) add an additional flat fee to the total bill. For a basic 2-smartphone 4GB Verizon plan, the total bill would run $150 ($70 for data plus $40 for each smartphone).

AT&T offers a similar but vastly different way of approaching the same model. You begin by selecting how much data you need similar to Verizon, though AT&T offers much more varied data limits, and as the amount of data you select increases, the cost of each smartphone drops. Consider the following table:

As you can see from the above table, smartphones can range from $30 to $45 per month, with the amount you pay decreasing the more data you need. AT&T is able to accomplish this by charging significant amounts of dough for relatively small amounts of data (seriously, $200 for 20GB?). In all, the pricing ends up being largely the same for two-smartphone households with AT&T and Verizon. With 4 GBs of data, AT&T’s model yields a smartphone bill of $150, and the 10GB plan costs $180 under both carriers. Feature phones, tablets, and data sticks/jetpacks all cost the same monthly fee as Verizon as well.

Of course, the big difference between AT&T and Verizon is that AT&T isn’t forcing people into the new data plans. Existing customers can choose to keep their plans, including those grandfathered into AT&T’s unlimited data plans. New customers will also be able to choose between the Shared Data plans or AT&T’s traditional plans.

For more information on AT&T’s plans, we suggest heading over to their site. The plans will go live in late August for all those interested in switching. Would these new plans benefit anyone out there, or would you end up paying more in the end?

Via: Engadget

Source: AT&T

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • LukeT32

    I love how all the carriers are slowing making everyone upset with this huge prices for data… I am luckily still on VZW with unlimited data and never plan to renew due to this…….

    • steve

      Eventually, theyll screw you too

      • Steve Barry

        Hate to say it, but you’re 100% right. They’ll get theirs, no question. My guess is they’ll start charging $800-900 for top-tier devices off-contract, which is the only way to keep your unlimited data. The same phone off-contract will still be the $500-600 on other carriers, VZW will just gouge the crap out of them to make it up on their end.

        I can see it now…a Motorola Nexus (announced fall 2012) on Verizon, only $249 with a two-year contract. However, get the ‘developer’ (read: not completely castrated) addition only available for a non-subsidized price of $849.

        *Disclaimer – None of this is factual, including the Motorola Nexus, I’m simply using this as an example ;).

        • Steve Barry

          Without question I think the way to go is to get phones off eBay/Craigslist like you said. There is always a small risk with that and getting a bogus phone, but if you go Craigslist, I think you need to meet that person at a carrier store to make sure the phone is clean.

          If you don’t need to have the latest and greatest the second it comes out, you’ll be doing yourself a favor.

    • billy bob

      I was in the same shoes as you, but unfortunately my psycho sister disconnected my line. So im screwed!

  • Jorge Vieira

    I still think Verizon plans are better. In the past year I’ve done away with both my unlimited plans on both Verizon and att and it’s not as bad as people think. I but I do like att’s plans and they came a lot Sooner then I expected. They are separating by offering new customers there legacy plans. I but Verizon new shared are much much better than there legacy plans (for families) so I kinda understand.

    • LukeT32

      I believe the legacy unlimited plans on AT&T are throttled now arent they?

      • krisguy

        Yes, they are. 3G/HSPA+ devices at 3GB, LTE at 5GB.

        • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

          I thought it started at 2GB for some???

  • KenLin

    Such a deal! I can get the same data that we have now for only a 25% price increase!

  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

    I’ve said it before with Verizon and I’ll say it again with AT&T. This is ABSOLUTE CRAP that they’re focusing on the data but they sneak in that by participating (whether forced or not) in the shared data plans, they’re forcing “unlimited minutes” on you and the cost that comes with it. That’s why each smartphone is $30-45 instead of $10. This fee has NOTHING to do with the data and EVERYTHING to do with the unlimited minutes.

    WHY is this crap? Not for the obvious reason of “not everybody needs unlimited minutes”. I mean, that’s bad enough. but the REAL reason this is crap is because, in the next phase of LTE, all of your conversations won’t use traditional minutes but will just be packets of data like your web pages and video streaming are. So what this means is that AT&T and Verizon is conditioning us to being used to the $30-45 per line model instead of the traditional $10 per line model JUST SO THEY CAN PAD THEIR POCKETS! And you might say, “Well, AT&T isn’t forcing this on us”. And you’re right. For now. No doubt about it, that $30/45 per line WILL BECOME STANDARD for all family plans no matter what at some point in the future.

    tl;dr version:
    This is absolutely ridiculous!

    • WlfHart

      Agreed, I hardly ever use my cell for calls anymore with Skype around… Mostly texting and tethering. To have to pay for a product I’m not using is pretty irritating. But that’s why I’m stuck on T-Mo on month to month with a price from a few years ago… It would be ridiculous price jump to lose my current rate, and I wouldn’t get as much as I’m getting now, save for more minutes. But less data.

  • tagstar

    I wouldn’t mind paying AT&T or Verizon these rates if the 4G coverage was better. With these prices, I still lose GPS signal, and I still get dropped calls in the Seattle area, They should take our money and make the coverage better.

  • Hue Three of Five

    I’ve been saying this for a while now…go prepaid. I am using the Gnex on StraighTalkSim which is the exact same network and coverage as regular contract Att, but only $45 for 2gigs/100mb per day + unl call and txt.

    • A.Woodbury

      I hated the idea of prepaid, just didn’t see the point and just knew prepaid service was slacking, so why would anyone go that route. Then I too discovered that Straight Talk uses AT&Ts towers and was amazed. $45 for unl calls, text, and 2gb of unthrottled data? So I joined and am loving it

  • Derek

    this is such a stupid plan. At least AT&T isnt forcing everybody to these new ripoff plans. Verizon is forcing everybody on their new plans at their next upgrade. On Verizon for a single user you’ll pay $120/month for one phone and 4GB of data. Where that same plan is only $80 now. Granted, the new plans include unlimited voice but who cares, who calls anymore? I have the 450min plan and I dont even use 200 minutes a month. I have the $5 text plan and dont even go over that. So they are forcing everybody to unlimited minutes and texts while killing you on data. I’m ditching them and heading to straight talk as soon as my plan is up. They have unlimited everything for $45/month. I know they are capped at 2.5GB which is fine, I never go over 800MB.

  • steve

    these plans suck for ind users …A 2GB plan on VRZ went from $70 to 100…From chart above, seems ATT is going from 1gb to 4..so not a lot of flexibility for solo users. Im sure within time ATT will discontinue old plans. Smartphone use –esp for iphones–are becoming way too expensive

    • Steve Barry

      There is an asterisk next to ‘Each smartphone’ which I’m guessing is probably additional. As in, you only pay that fee if there is more than one phone associated with that data bucket.

      If you look at the individual plan page, from what I’m seeing it looks like a single person with just a smartphone can get 5GB data for $50/mo, which IMO, isn’t really too bad.

  • Tojen

    Although this plan isn’t for everyone, it will be great for larger families or groups that want to get together for a better deal. If you maxed out the plan (20gb and 10 devices) it would be about $500+ taxes and fees, which would come out to about $50 per device with 2gb of data per device. Sounds like a great deal to me. Plus tethering ability and unlimited voice and texts. I know the majority(myself included) use very little voice minutes, but some people burn through a crap load of minutes every month (think farmers and small businesses).

    • drew

      T-Mobile: even more plus plan. unlimited everything including 4g data, throttled to 3g after 2 gig usage, 2 lines only 49.99 per line.

      We never really go over the 2 gigs each until about the end of the month anyway, and we always grab our phones off clist or something similar. Since switching I’ve never looked back, and I think all these others shared plans are a waste of time.

  • Jason

    “the big difference between AT&T and Verizon is that AT&T isn’t forcing people into the new data plans”

    This is incorrect. I just upgraded my family to Galaxy S III phones on Verizon and kept my old unlimited data plan without any hassle whatsoever.

    • co.ag.2005

      I guess it’s a YMMV case… My friend upgraded to the GSIII and they forced him onto the new plan. He tried to keep the old but they wouldn’t let them (maybe he didn’t try hard enough?). That’s cool that you were able to!

  • Voliam

    Can one really blame any carrier for gouging their customers? As long as the herd continues to pay these outrageous prices, the carriers will continue to increase them.
    The ONLY way to stop this is if the herd tells these carriers to GTH (strength in numbers)! If a carrier lost a third or more of its customer base, I assure you they would significantly drop their prices. Consider two gas stations on a corner. One charges .10 more per gallon than the other. Where are YOU going to buy gas? And which station is going to reap the benefits? The profits they lose per gallon is more than made up in sales volume.

  • co.ag.2005

    while I agree that this model (and VZW’s model) sucks, it would actually make my monthly bill cheaper by ~$25 (for my line and my wife’s). However, after our contract with ATT is up in February, we are switching to StraightTalk as many have mentioned on this thread already. More info here by A&M’s own Taylor:

  • MoSDeeb

    Carrier shenanigans strike once again. If the Benny Hill song was playing in the background of this page it would be complete.

  • Jim Stikeleather

    Actually — they just suspended my unlimited data account (which I have had for over 5 years) because it exceeded 5 GB of usage. So much for “grandfathered” and so much for “throttling”. I spent 8+ hours with “customer service” — the local retail people were great” to no avail.

    All this happened because I discovered something called BuneUS on the bill that was never ordered (turns out they send a text that if you don’t respond to they says that authorizes them to bill your account). Apparently, just putting parental controls caused a contract change….

    I am a decades AT&T wireless user — high revenue, high margin (I generally don’t us much at all across multiple lines — I have over 14k rollover minutes available), generally promoted them. Not anymore. I advise a lot of businesses about how to implement BYOD with their employees — given this experience AT&T is off the short list.

  • Richard Yarrell

    Boy it feels so great to be able to enjoy wonderful service for a change. Glad I’m not part of either of these pocket draining carriers.

    • Sargon

      Don’t worry, it won’t be long before you’re on another carrier. The outreach program expired for you on Sprint, then, you thought Verizon suddenly pimp-slapped other carriers, then, you pretended to be angry with Verizon because you’re too stupid to update your phone yourself ( you don’t need to root to do a force-update) when the reality is that you can’t afford Verizon. Now you’re on tmo, so naturally, in Yarrell World is pimp-slapping, boogie-down, and all of your other adjectives from kindergarten. You’ll be on Boost Mobile, or Metro PCS soon enough.
      I also doubt there’ll be a nexus phone in the time frame you stated. Nexus phones are released with new android versions. I don’t see android 4.2 coming out just months after jellybean was released. The nexus 7 brought 4.1
      Now then, who wants to take a guess at what the retard responds with? Poor soul, broke loser, calling me a troll, saying that squiddy20 and I are related, trying to convince people he is a big spender and buys whatever he wants (except a TV from this century, a shower and a basic education), sucking on eggs, f**k a duck, dark basements, and don’t worry about what he does,worry about myself are all pretty common responses. With a sub-70 IQ, there isn’t a lot in it’s arsenal, just the same regurgitated nonsense.
      I can save you the trouble, I make more money before 2:00 than you make in a month working at the Bowery staring at security monitors, I have three of the same phone you claim to have, plus a few others on a large family plan, I know what the words I type mean, I have actual hardcore tech that I know how to use, I have a TV just in my bathroom alone that’s only a few months, not decades old. I take showers and have a command of the English language you’ll not have if you lived for 5000 years.
      Now let’s see what the retard replies with, if he even has the balls to do it. I can already guarantee that if he does, he’ll make himself look even more stupid than we know him to be.

  • Jakob

    I dislike it as much as anyone else, but can’t see how this situation came to be. I live in Sweden, and here you get truly unlimited data (at 10 mbit/s) for about $14 a month, no strings attached. I’ve used 9 gigs of data per day multiple times (the most I’ve used in a month is 53 GB), and have not had any additional costs.